Category Archives: Pro highlights

Do you know our Pros? Meet Lel Tone- Worlds Top 10 Guides, Elite Level Paddle Boarder and Professional Avalanche Forecaster

 Do you know our Pros? Meet Lel Tone -One of the Worlds Top 10 Guides, Elite Level Paddleboarder, Professional Avalanche Forecaster and Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Weekend Supporter!

Lel Tone- how does one begin to describe one of the most accomplished individuals in the ski community?  We are beyond excited that Lel will join us as Ski Discovery this weekend.

When it comes to skiing, fitness, reality TV competitions—or just life in general—Lel Tone earns the highest marks in every discipline. She started skiing as a child in the Alps, then left Switzerland for the U.S. when she was ten. She began ski racing while in college in Vermont, and later migrated to Lake Tahoe, a place she now calls home between guiding gigs, fitness missions, and televised tests of wilderness endurance.

Check out Lel and Lysey Dyer shred some powder in Kashmir:

From Lel:  “Skiing seems to be the thread that has held my whole adult life together. I find it intriguing that the little moment, at the age of two, that my mom and dad helped me put on these little plastic skis that they bought at the grocery store in Switzerland would be such a defining moment for the path my life would ultimately take. 

I met my husband Tom, ski racing in college. We were on the same team and co-captained our senior year there. It is skiing that has played a central theme in my professional career choices.

During the winter, Lel throws bombs as an avalanche forecaster for Squaw Valley Ski Patrol, and navigates steep, complicated terrain as a lead guide in Alaska with Chugach Powder Guides and for Tordrillo Mountain Lodge.

As a child growing up in Switzerland, the mountains, always present, majestic and near, always around made Lel feel at home.  “As I’ve grown and changed over the course of my life they have taken on different meanings for me. They are a place devoid of judgment, they are a place of solitude and beauty, they are a place to push yourself and your limits, they allow me to just BE in the moment to see my life for the gift and miracle that it is. More recently the mountains have been a place that I can learn from and help teach others about. I hope they will never stop being an inspiration to me. “

She was named one of the World’s Top Ten Guides by Outside Magazine in 2014 and the Best Outdoor Guide by Sunset Magazine in 2015. Lel holds Level 3 avalanche certifications and is a licensed blaster in California. She is also an instructor with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and the National Ski Patrol, as well as a certified EMT.

In the summers, she holds her own as an elite-level paddleboarder for Tahoe SUP and Teva. A multi-sport, multi-season athlete, Tone has competed in freeskiing competitions and professional mountain-bike races. In 2015, Tone harnessed this competitive streak as a member of the winning Endurance team on National Geographic Channel’s Ultimate Survival Alaska.

The most important thing to remember when in the mountains is humility.  Mother Nature calls all the shots. Period. The mountains don’t care about your goals, your agenda, and your ego. We must be prepared, be smart, try to make sound decisions and be ready when the timing is right and the mountains allow us to do what we desire.”

While researching Lel, I was struck by her quote on FB :

“The greatest thing I learned in my 8th grade Latin class was “Carpe Diem”, to “Seize the Day”….It is a small concise phrase that has had a tremendous effect on my life. It reminds me every day to appreciate every moment we have on this amazing planet. To make every precious second count. I see this most clearly when I am spending time in the mountains, It is what has motivated me to find a way to live, work and play in them. I feel so fortunate to have a job that allows me to share that joy, that appreciation… that time in the mountains with other people.”

See you this weekend Lel!

 Info on Lel from:

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Do you know our Pros? Meet Katie Hitchcock – Shredder, Univ of Colorado Freestyle Team alum, and avid supporter of Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Weekend!

Do you know our Pros? Meet Katie Hitchcock – Shredder, Univ of Colorado Freestyle Team alum, and avid supporter of Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Weekend!

If you’re lucky enough to ride up the chairlift with Katie,  she’ll probably feel like your best friend by the time you get off the lift. Katie is a from Steamboat, Colorado, but has relocated to the Salt Lake City area and is loving life at Alta & Snowbird.   Katie has been a ski instructor at Alta Ski Area between freeride competitions.  While at Univ of Colorado, Boulder, Katie was a member of their Free Style  Ski Team.   While earning points on the team, Katie also slayed her school work and graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in both Italian and Business.    Quite impressive!

“The Wasatch range is an incredibly special place to me now. Alta Ski Area has pretty much become my home even though I technically live down valley. It’s wonderful to be able ski up at Park City, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons all within 30 minutes of where I live. The backcountry access is also outstanding and I deeply hope that land stays public!”

Katie may be one of the fastest skiers on the mountain, but she is also the type who won’t leave you in the dust. “The people who end up skiing the Wasatch mountains are some of the best I’ve come across and I’m so happy and grateful to be among them now!

Regardless of what niche of skiing/boarding, every person who is part of this community is so passionate and genuine. Of course being outside, staying active, and being able to travel is awesome as well but the people are what pull it all together regardless of what state or even country you’re in.


We are so excited to see Katie this weekend!

Thanks for supporting the Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Weekend, 2018!


Do you know our Pros? Meet Maggie Goertzen – Pro Skier, Sponsored by Dynastar, and Mechanical/Aerospace Engineer!

Do you know our Pros? Meet Maggie Goertzen – Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Alumni, Pro Skier for Dynastar, and Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering Mastermind!!

When your last name starts with the word “GO” you know you are destined to go big places.   Maggie is showing us how it’s done.   Not only a gnarly skier in her own right, but a ground breaking mechanical and aerospace engineer by trade and training.  Maggie has been an avid supporter of the Billy Poole Foundation and we could not be prouder of her  and her accomplishments so far.  We have a feeling she has just begun the “GO” part of her career and we cannot wait to see where it takes her!

Maggie grew up skiing, climbing and mountain biking in Montana. She relocated to the Salt Lake City area to pursue her mechanical engineering degree at The University of Utah, while also exploring the rugged terrain of this beautiful area.   With Alta and Snowbird right up the canyon, the fun (and learning) was just beginning.   Along with her skiing and biking skills,  her engineering interest and innate talent became obvious.   University of Utah’s Mechanical Engineering Program is one of the top engineering  programs in the world.   Excelling there is no small feat.

Watch Maggie shredding the fluff at Snowbird this past week:

She began to seek out research opportunities that would let her explore a variety of mechanical engineering emphases. Under the supervision of mechanical engineering assistant professor Amanda Smith and funding by UROP (undergraduate research opportunities program at the Univ of Utah),  Maggie conducted an analysis of energy usage in high performance buildings.  She  then went on to work collaboratively, as a design engineer, in the chemical engineering department with assistant professor Swomitra Mohanty.

In Dr. Mohanty’s lab she learned the significance of working with other engineering disciplines to solve complex problems. While  thoroughly enjoyed her experiences in both laboratories, they were not a perfect fit for her interests.  Maggie found her research calling in the Nanotribology and Precision Engineering Lab, led by mechanical engineering associate professor Bart Raeymaekers.    

Author Confession: I had to look up the meaning of Nanotribology. If anyone else was not clear -> you’re welcome…

Maggies’s research focuses on additive manufacturing of low-density multi-functional materials with tailored properties. The problem addressed in her research is integrating stereolithography additive manufacturing with ultrasound directed self-assembly, to organize (nano)particles dispersed in a liquid polymer into user-defined patterns. Ultrasound directed self-assembly employs standing pressure waves to drive (nano)particles dispersed in a fluid medium into user-defined patterns.  This is groundbreaking and critical research.  According to Maggie’s advisor, “this research, if successful, will create a new manufacturing process that enables fabricating materials with a user-specified microstructure in a layer-by-layer fashion.”

Maggies dedication and enthusiasm paid off and Maggie was selected as a 2017 Brook Owens Fellow.

Created to honor the legacy of a beloved space industry pioneer and accomplished pilot, Dawn Brooke Owens (1980 – 2016), the Brooke Owens Fellowship Program is designed to serve both as an inspiration and as a career boost to capable young women who aspire to explore our sky and stars, to shake up the aerospace industry, and to help their fellow men and women here on planet Earth.  They do this by matching thirty-six extraordinary women per year with purpose-driven, paid internships at leading aviation and space companies and organizations and with senior and executive level mentors.

So, while she crushes it on the slopes, she is also crushing it in engineering research lab at the same time.   

Bravo my friend!  You are an inspiration to all of us!!


We cannot wait to see you this coming weekend at Ski Discovery and the 2018 Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Weekend.





*I am not sure about the rest of you, but I ordered a few books to brush up on my knowledge of her field of study.    Goal number 1, learn to pronounce “nanotribology” correctly. *

Do you know our Pros? Meet Re Wiksrom – Professional Catcher of Magic, Stealth Demolisher of Stereotypes, Professional Photographer, & Diehard Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Supporter!

Do you know our Pros? Meet Re Wiksrom – Professional Catcher of Magical Moments, Stealth Demolisher of Stereotypes,  Professional Photographer, Managing Editor of Photography for, & Diehard Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Supporter!!

(Authored by Rachael Burks)

The World Ski and Snowboard Festival  in Whistler, BC, celebrates the newest, most talented, and most dedicated innovators, athletes, and individuals in the ski industry. The Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown is among the most highly anticipated events of the festival, with only 6 coveted final spots for pro photographers to show off the enviable world they see through their lenses.

Re Wikstrom was the first female finalist ever in the showdown, selected via the anonymous submission process from among the almost 50 hopeful entries, including the most well-established names in the business.

Re created a mind-blowing presentation and slide show. . .but what the audience may not of known,  was that all of her images were of females athletes.

It was Re’s high school photography teacher that convinced her to pursuer photography. She pursued a BFA in Photography and Visual Media from RIT where her last year she interned at Powder magazine. It was there after hours spent in direct contact with actual Ski Photographers that Re had the realization that she too could potentially do this. Re moved to Salt Lake City to do the unthinkable: pursue a career in Ski Photography.

It was her young-self’s first subscription to Powder magazine (at 12 years old) that made her think to herself:  “Wow, that would be a really cool job…” fast forward a decade; Re’s done with her BFA, has an internship with Powder Magazine in her pocket, and she’s moving to one of the snowiest and  most picturesque states in North America.


Re landed a job with pretty much right off the bat in SLC and has been with the company for over a decade now.  Re is the Managing Editor of Photography.  So, basically,  if you’ve ever been on and thought: “Ooooo, gorgeous photo…”  There’s a really, really, really good chance its her photo.


Re has traveled the world: rafted rivers, ski-toured in the arctic, mountain-biked in Canada, and recently made it home to Sweden to visit her ancestral roots…

Re has been planning on attending the 2018 Billy Poole Foundation’s Ski With A Pro Weekend for so long that she blocked her calendar this past summer to make sure she would not miss it.!   We are infinitely lucky to have Re attend this year.

When we look back at the evolution of the ski industry and the media that maintains it. . . a real innovator comes to the forefront – a professional photographer whose made a reality out of a dream while also choosing to focus only on women in skiing. There is not one other photographer in the world that has chosen to do the same thing. 

Re believes in the effective communication of photography. Her theory does not consist of  “rah rah, in your face girl power.” She conveys something strong, silent, personal, down-to-earth, raw, beautiful, and encouraging.

Her leadership is in the capture of a sentiment… she captures reality and in-turn those who have seen her work have a very magical and personal relationship with her images… she encourages everyone to push past their limits and live beyond what social norms dictate.

You meet her, you get it. She’s a special one. We are very lucky to have her.   Thank you for joining the 2018 Billy Poole Foundation Ski with the Pro’s Weekend.  Re, we cannot wait to see you!

PS… Check out Re’s photo of Rachael Burks First Back Flip of a Cliff!


Do you know our Pros? Meet Cody Barnhill -Pro skier, Musician, Actor & Alternative Energy Guru, dear friend of Billy Poole an avid Ski with the Pros Supporter

Meet Cody Barnhill – Pro skier, Musician, Actor & Alternative Energy Guru, dear friend of Billy Poole and avid Ski with the Pros Supporter!

Websters Dictionary defines “Renaissance Man” as follows: a person who has wide interest and is expert in several areas.  This term personifies Cody Barnhill.   From skiing, to alternative energy, to music and even acting, Cody excel in all.

Born in Anchorage Alaska, Cody has always had an affinity for big mountains, deep snow and building things.  Cody grew up off the grid about 10 miles southeast of Anchorage on Flat Top Mountain. The proximity of his childhood home to the Chugach National Forest provided a 495,00 acre playground for Cody and his family.   Cody’s mad skiing skills drew the attention of major movie companies like Teton Gravity Research, Levitation Project and Sherpas Cinema.  Known for following his own passions rather than the ski film star path, Cody’s career has continually evolved since he moved to Alta, Utah, from his native Alaska at 21.

At Alta, Cody joined up with the likes of Billy Poole, Julian Carr, Will Wissman, Adam Clark, Rachael Burks and similar kindred spirits. Together they pushed each other and played in the Wasatch for many years. Cody is a close friend of Billy Poole.  They were roommates while at Alta.   We can only imagine the shenanigans that took place in that house.  Cody has been to almost every single Ski With A Pro event and has continually inspired us with his mind-blowing skiing abilities.

Music is a key part of Cody’s entire life.  His parents were big fans of The Grateful Dead and always had music playing at home.  Cody is a member of the Ketchum, ID based band The Sheep Bridge Jumpers where he contributes his voice as well as his bass and mandolin skills.  Check out The Sheep Bridge Jumpers at on Facebook.

Dipping his toe in acting, Cody starred in Sweetgrass Productions’ award-winning 2014 film, “Valhalla“.  Blending world class ski and snowboard action with a ground breaking style and structure, Valhalla follows one man’s escape into the Northern woods, and his wild journey toward satisfaction, understanding, and love in the deepest snow on earth.  “There were a lot of reasons we chose Cody, beyond the fact that he’s a ripping skier,” said Sweetgrass producer Nick Waggoner. “He’s got a certain creative intelligence, gravitating toward artistic projects and conversation about ideas that go beyond skiing. He’s not just a skier — we knew he had the mind for the nuance of what we were doing and wanted to film with ‘Valhalla.'”    *Please note, Valhalla is geared for adult audiences*

When not skiing,  making music or acting, Cody’s interest in engineering and alternative energy is evident.  According to Cody’s dad, he has always been able to work diverse materials to make them do what he needs them to do. “He MacGyvers everything himself. That’s my boy.”

“MacGyvering” seems to have been just as much of a guiding force in Cody’s life as skiing has been. From solar panel installation to good old-fashioned construction, motorcycle mechanic work, bicycle building, and even renovating alpine touring bindings to make them more lightweight for hiking and more efficient for aggressive backcountry skiing, it really seems like there’s nothing he can’t do. Even with his mechanical engineering smarts, it is his interest in understanding how off-grid living and alternative energy can improve, and become accessible to people in every income bracket, that has directed his career lately.

What’s super impressive about Cody and his goals (he is pursuing his degree and career in Energy Systems Engineering) is his economic and environmental approach to this ongoing project. Solar panels and wind turbines are cost-prohibitive for many alternative energy enthusiasts. Furthermore, the world is too beautiful a place, the rivers too wild, and the mountains too great to be compromised for energy’s sake.

Copper River, Alaska

“I want to figure out the simplest way to harness the energy that is constantly moving around us—from that, I want to create a simple machine that will allow any individual to generate power in their own space.”

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We are thrilled to see Cody again next weekend at Ski with the Pros Weekend 2018!


Do you know our Pros? Meet Claire Smallwood -Epic Skier, Executive Director and Co Founder of SheJumps *PLUS* a Private Chef

Do you know our Pros? Meet Claire Smallwood -Epic Skier,  Co Founder and Executive Director of SheJumps *PLUS* a Private Chef…

The Billy Poole Foundation is thrilled to welcome the one and only Claire Smallwood to Ski with the Pros Weekend this year!  Claire is not only a legendary skier, but she is also a demigod in the field of women’s empowerment.

Claire is a brilliant business woman who can not only speak four   languages (yes! 4!), ski like a superhero, create and conduct amazing outdoor skills programs for women of all ages, but also bring to life amazing culinary delights as a private chef.

Claire, Lynsey Dyer, and Vanessa Pierce founded SheJumps (501c3) in 2007 with a vision to rally all the phenomenal women of the outdoor sports world to create a network – and environment -designed to provide opportunities for women that may not have the ability to build their outdoor skill set on their own.   That discussion over coffee has since morphed into a 51-person team, including 45 volunteers around the country, working to introduce women and under-served kids to skiing and other sports.

“What inspires me about my work with SheJumps is the chance to create opportunities for women and children who would normally have none, and to plant the idea that it is possible to live an adventurous and inspiring lifestyle, no matter who you are or where you come from.”

Part of the allure of the outdoors is the mutual admiration and respect outdoor enthusiasts have for the call of the wild.  Claire understands both the intoxicating aspects of Mother Nature, as well as its unpredictable. crazy whims.  SheJumps programs are designed to instill both the love of the grandeur and the critical respect that nature demands. Life skills are taught in all SheJumps programs which prepare people for the crazy twists & turns life will throw your way – indoors and outdoors.

Through both SheJumps and her own ridiculously fun self,  Claire embraces the outdoor community, shares it with all she meets and clearly serves as one of its revered ambassadors.

Wise words from Claire –




“Don’t be so scared. I wish that I’d gotten more encouragement to say, ‘It’s OK to do this and fail.'”




So when not running SheJumps, Claire has another passion  – creating delicious meals.   There is nothing better than bringing people together with food.  Sharing stories after a great adventure with great people while enjoying a meal is a highlight all its own.

There’s a lot to be learned from making desserts:

 Combining sugar, butter, and flour teaches you the tenets of a good life: “Stay organized, put some love into it, dream big, have fun, and don’t forget to clean up your mess.”

Thank you again for joining us for the 2017

Billy Poole Ski with a Pro event at Ski Discovery!!

Do you know our Pros? Meet Parker Cook – Pro Skier turned Pro Furniture Fabricator & Designer

Meet  Parker Cook-   Pro Skier turned Pro Furniture Fabricator and Designer and forever supporter of the Billy Poole Foundation!

Meet Parker Cook.  Salt Lake City born and raised this man has been the life of every party since he was 2.  Parker learned how to ski with his pops Jeff and mama Linda. .  .You meet them and you realize how Parker grew up to be the raddest human ever!

 Parker’s history as a Pro skier actually hinges our dearest Billy Poole believe- it -or -not. Parker was badgering Billy for some free skis and Billy told him to get them himself, “Parker, you’re good enough- go get some sponsors” … and … he did:


Parker pursued professional skiing for a while and in turn got to travel the world for years with his SLC based shred posse: Julian Carr, Rachael Burks, Ben Wheeler, Will Wissman, et al.

Parker has been published in several different ski magazines and has been a part of many beautiful award-winning ski edits:

Watch Parker, Rachael & Julian have some serious fun in Chile:

After traveling the world and getting to ski dream locations Parker met his dream girl and fellow ripping skier: Kate Nebeker (who also participates in the Ski With A Pro Weekend) Kate and Parker reside in SLC and had a little girl who they named Piper.

Parker was smart enough early on to realize that while skiing was the coolest thing ever, it probably wouldn’t be the thing to sustain an income in the 10-year plan. . . So, he combined skill sets from his mother: an interior designer and his father: can build anything in the world… and started his own furniture business.

It’s called Parker Cook Design and can be found on facebook and also Instagram. PCD has expanded twice and now employs many local builders, welders, fellow shredders, and designers. His furniture is absolutely stunning. .  .



Parker is next-level in everything he does: He’s a next-level shredder, a next-level family man, a next-level participant in the Billy Poole Foundation, and TRULY a next-level human. His thoughtfulness, stoke, and unparalleled enthusiasm make up a huge part of the soul of our foundation. 

We are so thankful that the Cook family participates in the Ski With A Pro Weekend. . .  Thanks guys- can’t wait to see you all!!
Parker with his family.

Do you know our Pros? Meet Galen Bridgewater – Banked Slalom & Freeride Competitor, Pro Snowboarder & Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Regular!

Meet Galen Bridgewater –  Banked Slalom & Freeride Competitor, Pro Snowboarder & Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Regular!


Galen Bridgewater, simply put, inspires smiles and happiness!   A regular at the Billy Poole Foundation’s Ski with the Pros Weekend, and vehement enthusiast working to empower today’s youth,  Galen immediately wins the hearts of everyone she meets.  Her love of the sport and unbridled excitement is clear as she boards with our kids and mentors.   She innately encourages everyone to up their game. (This is partially due to the fact that she’s the fastest snowboarder out there)  From first time riders, to those who have boarded for years, Galen inspires everyone to challenge themselves and go for just that little bit more.


Galen is wildly in love with the art of snowboarding. She splits her time between the beautiful and wild states of Montana and Alaska, and exudes a work hard to play hard ethic. As a child her parents moved her cross country twice a year to follow their dreams of being ski professionals, immersed her in the mountain life and taught her all the lessons that come with it. As she grew her focus on ski racing and big mountain skiing shifted to snowboarding. Now, Galen’s focus and riding are sharper than ever.

After numerous podium finishes from Freeride World Qualifiers and the banked slalom scene, Galen has set her sights on a new stage, the MT/AK backcountry and developing youth snowboard programs.

“I love snowboarding, for me, it is like a dance. Every time I strap in there’s a new song playing and so many beautiful ways to interpret and ride down these magnificent mountains. I would like to share this passion (as it was shared with me) to more kids in need. Eventually, I would like to develop some wilderness snowboarding therapy for the underprivileged kids here in my community.”

We cannot wait to see Galen and dance with her at our event on February 3 & 4th.

Galen, with roots in the Mad River Valley of Vermont, chilling with another participate that also happens to be from the Mad River Valley!

See you in less than two weeks Galen!



Do you know our Pros? Meet Justin Lati – Freeride Competitor, Big Mtn Snowboarder & Adaptive Sports Advocate

Do you know our Pros? Meet Justin Lati – Freeride Competitor,  Big Mountain Snowboarder & Adaptive Sports Advocate

Meet BP Ski with the Pro Alumni Jusin Lati

Justin has been a huge supporter of the Billy Poole Foundation Ski with the Pro’s Weekend for years.  When not shredding with our kids, Justin travels the world to participate in the elite Freeskiing World Tour (on his board of course!) and enjoy every run he can.

Click below to see Justin ripping it:

Justin will be fresh off a trip to Japan when we see him in a few weeks.

When not shredding across the globe, Justin is a Certified Personal Trainer and Instructor with the Wastach Adaptive Sports.  A Utah native, Justin learned to ski at Snowbird at the age of 5 and has been hooked on the steeps ever since! Background in Exercise Science, Certified Personal Trainer through National Academy of Sports Medicine in California. Competitor on the North American FreeRide Tour for snowboarding.

True to the Billy Poole Foundation, Justin is perpetually psyched and smiling.  To use his own words…

 Happiness is a choice! #staystoked people !! 

And we cannot forget his partner in crime… Oaks!


BP Ski with the Pro’s Weekend Shenanigans 2016


The Mindset of Extreme – Julian Carr’s thought process behind an unreal accomplishment

The Mindset of Extreme – Julian Carr’s thought process behind jumping an insane cliff

We watch in awe as remarkable athletes complete things we only dream about.   Have you ever sat back and thought what goes into the process behind the unbelievable achievements?   Extreme skiing is not for the faint of heart.   While some may think extreme sports is a group of crazy people that just “going for it”,  we know they are dead wrong.

Let’ go behind the scenes and listen to our own Julian Carr speak to his thought process as he approaches jumping an unbelievable 210-foot cliff.    (from   Matt Kretzschmar, Oct 2017)

“My first time to Europe, what a place. We spent three weeks in Austria, then hopped a train to Switzerland.  When we rolled into town, conditions were awesome. We took Gondola up, hopped on Jochpass chairlift. On the way up, there was a super obvious, massive, cliff just staring us in the face. First thing that struck me was it was probably very difficult to locate the top of the cliff. It was a fleeting thought. It was literally my first time up the mountain. We had one more chairlift to take; we hadn’t taken the tram yet. [There were] Hundreds of perfect cliffs everywhere, but man, this one was the most perfect massive cliff I had ever seen, [and I was] instantly gravitating towards it.

We immediately hit a few cliffs in the 30-70 foot range. Landings were preserved, snow was dense and light at the same time — perfect for cliffs. I was able to inspect the big cliff. The landing was not quite there for a big cliff like this. I need the landing to be ultra perfect. From cruising around the mountain, I could see an entry into the cliff, it looked tricky but doable. The landing wasn’t quite there. We had plans to travel around Switzerland, maybe check out Italy, but we had storms rolling in to Engelberg. We made some incredible friends in Engelberg, so we posted up for 3, almost 4 weeks.

We would get some 10″ storms that would roll in and rebuff everything. We were skiing lines, hitting the same cliffs over and over, truly a blast. I kept visiting my big cliff, trying to will the landing to be good enough, [but] it just wasn’t quite there. Close, but no cigar.

Our trip was coming to an end; we’d be leaving in a few days, [then] the unbelievable happened, a huge storm hit. It snowed for a full day, shut down the mountain, then it went blue for our last full day in town. We woke up early, headed for the early gondola. Accumulation rumors were 30″+ storm total, zero wind, just an ultra perfect day ahead. My mind went straight to the big cliff, I wanted to head straight for inspection. As we loaded the gondolas, I got separated from my crew, I went solo on the gondola. Inside the window, there was an old sticker of a big eagle, I took that as a good omen, but didn’t want to get ahead of myself. One step at a time.

We headed up Jochpass chairlift. The cliff couldn’t have looked any better, just beautiful, fresh snowfield above & below the cliff. I skied straight to the landing. I knew I had to be quick in my protocol process, because people would be skiing through my landing within the hour. I hiked up, [and] started my depth testing in the landing area I had been studying for weeks. Landing was ultra perfect, I could stick my entire pole into the snow without any effort, continue with my entire arm, then lean my shoulder, half my body into the snow. [The] Landing was 5’+ feet of the finest Switzerland powder you could ever dream of, on top of their 100″ base. Ultra perfect. Go time.

Next up was the take-off logistics. This cliff would require skiing into the cliff, I wouldn’t be able to ski down to the take-off, spend time manicuring it, this one was going to be natural take-off situation. Since I knew I would have the most blind take-off, for the countless hours I had spent studying the landing zone, I had made horizon point visual landmarks, I knew when I was up on the cliff, I needed to be precise. What I did to make sure I knew where to aim [is] when I’d be probing the landing, studying exactly where I needed to land, I would turn around in the landing area [and] study horizon landmarks, so I could visualize, place myself up on the cliff, skiing towards the take-off, find my horizon landmark [and] send it aimed dead-on to that landmark trajectory. These things were what I was processing as I went up the chairlift.

My crew was Nick Greener. I instructed him to ski to me right after I landed, regardless of anything, just ski to me and check on me. So he took the next chairlift up, skied around the zone [and] was tucked up underneath the cliff on standby. I had Sky Pinnick filming for Rage Films. Photographer Oskar Enander. And the ultimate wingman, Tom Wayes. We all seamlessly chatted logistics on the chairlift, then we all headed for our respective locations. Once off the chairlift, I attempted to find my entrance to the cliff, but couldn’t find it. The guys on the radio attempted to talk me into it, but there was a maze of cliffs in the area, I couldn’t wrap my head around it, no margin for error. I skied back down, re-study how to get to the top of my cliff, it was a tricky entrance. [Then I] Took the lift back up.

julian carr tackles 210-foot cliff

Carr launches off a 210-foot cliff in Switzerland’s Jochpass. Photo: Newschoolers

I had to make a ski down a side ramp above a small cliff band. Once around the cliff band, I had to make a hop turn above some serious exposure, then start tracking left. As I tracked left, that is when I knew I would find my bushes on the take-off I had studied, so I knew exactly where to take-off, find horizon landmark for visual body aim trajectory. Tricky, tricky. Intense.

Once I was 100% in the right entrance area, it had been more than an hour, I was radio’d that about four or five people had skied through the landing slope, it was a big slope, it was beyond deep, I was still 100% the landing was mega green light regardless. I was focused, it was intense.

I got on the radio, gave my “1-minute” countdown. I made sure all my boots were buckled, all my straps intact on my pack, made sure the goggles weren’t fogging. And visualized my ski line, visualized locating my horizon landmark, visualized a long, beautiful swan dive in open space, absolute serenity in the sky, find my center, find my ultimate point of relaxful meditation as I sliced though the sky to the deep snow below. “10 seconds”, I put away my radio, took a deep breath, let it out very slowly, waved my arms, and dropped into the ramp. It was super deep, I was sloughing snow like crazy over the small cliff into the powder field below. I remember taking the most focused breaths of my life, studying each & every snow particle as I skied towards my hop turn zone, I was now in the red zone, no mistakes. I reached my hop turn zone, made the single most scary hop turn of my life, the edge, if I were to make a mistake, was about 20 feet below me, w no chance of survival. I made the hop turn, maintained the focus, kept the breath, maintained the composure, started tracking left, all the while the snow is deep, I’m sloughing a ton of snow over the cliff edge just to the right of where I would be jumping. I locate my exit point, I locate my horizon point, all systems go, it’s point of no return, but I already knew that the second I saw this cliff weeks earlier, I had a destiny with this cliff, all systems aligned as I made my final few turns leading up to the edge, it felt like I was a NBA point guard, dribbling through defenders, seeing all obstacles in slow motion heading towards the basket for the score. I became one w my skis, one w the cliff, one w my exit point. The area I just skied through to get to my exit point was so intense, I wanted to get the hell out of there, get me in the air already!

I hit the exit point, let me tell you, when I first popped out into the open sky, the ground was so impossibly far away, I was in a time portal, I experienced minutes of internal conversation in my head in that split second, multiple conversations, multiple perspectives, so many thoughts fully thought out in slow motion, minutes & minutes of flow of consciousness.

All the slough looked like an avalanche was cascading like a waterfall to my right, I was going slightly left, I’d always wanted an aerial view of a mini-avalanche cascading over a 200’+ foot cliff. I believe that time is a construct that is relative, because I lived a layered, long experience, in a split second.

And the ground, the ground was impossibly far away.


I came back into earth time, realized the height I was seeing was considerably higher than the highest I’d seen yet, biggest cliff I’d jumped up to this point, which was 170 feet, not to self, I’m much higher than 170 feet in the air right now, one of many conversations I had in that split second.

I initiated the rotation of my front flip just a shade faster than perfect, as I started the rotation of my flip-

I just instantly knew I was flipping a hair too fast, that hair would be a risk to my life if it panned out.

I knew I needed to make some auto-adjustments on the fly. I elongated my body immediately, all instinctual, for I needed to slow my rotation down, I didn’t think about any of this, although I was having self-internal dialogue narration the entire time, amongst other conversations occurring the entire time in the air. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

I wasn’t doing enough to slow my rotation, my body knew this and kind of went into code red. My body tensed, I started breathing rapidly.

I was not zen. I knew I had better find zen, or else I’d likely die.

I forced myself to keep my head and shoulder energy to start heading inwards, so the forward momentum of the flip would start to rotate me inward VS keeping my head coming back up & forward, putting me square on my feet, once I switched the energy in my shoulders and head to start turning me inwards w the rotation instead of upwards/forwards, i just knew, I could feel it was perfect, I told myself –

‘Ok, now you have to relax.’

Because even if my body position was perfect, if I wasn’t completely calm, complete liquid w my body being relaxed, if my mind wasn’t relaxed, I needed to be total water.. otherwise I would splat, my insides would explode. If I had any air in my body or even one tense muscle, I would detonate on impact.

I visualized a deep starry night, billions of stars in the sky, I was amongst those stars in the sky, I found the peace of mind, I found the exhale of breath, found absolute state of relaxation in my full body, mind, spirit. I came upon the snow and shared energies, shared my rich electro-magnetic spectrum with that of the snow, I effortlessly, non-vioently, had a non-collission with the snow.

The landing was deep, perfect, my mind, body came to a state of snapping back to non-meditation, all I could do was laugh, I was laughing, my safety guy, Nick, skied up to me, they told me all of them were radio’ing to me asking if I was alright, I just remember laughing. Nick radio’d to the crew I was fine & I was laughing. My ski came off on impact, I got my ski back on, skied down and met up with the crew. Lots of high-fives, lots of smiles, it was a bonkers experience. Truly such a rich experience from A-Z, not just those 4 or 5 seconds, for it was an eternity in an instant.

One thing we were all curious about, how high was the cliff? All I knew it was way higher than 170 feet. We took the chair up, skied to the landing zone, pulled out the camera, we were going to point the camera to the take-off, get a measurement, but the camera died. Tom Wayes, used to climb big forest trees for a living, he’d get called in to slowly take-down problematic huge trees in forests, neighborhoods, etc. He was routinely climbing trees over 200 feet tall. I said to him, all I know is that cliff is at least 200 feet, “Do I have the Tom Wayes stamp of approval?” He instantly said I did.  So we called it 210 feet.